How to Live a Life of Gratitude & Why You Should Begin Doing So Today

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Gratitude is part of being humble and creates happiness.

Why?

Because you really start to see what you have in life to be thankful for. You take on an appreciate life perspective. You develop introspection and kindness towards both yourself and others which leads to humility, calmness, peace, being humble, and ultimately happy.

How can one be gratuitous beginning today, especially in this busy and chaotic world that we live in?

  • Give thanks every day, either morning and/or night. Think of 2-3 things that you are thankful for and think of them, speak them, even jot them down. Having a hard time thinking of anything to be grateful for?
    • Did you wake up?
    • Did you have a meal today?
    • Do you have a roof or shelter to keep you dry/warm tonight?
    • Did you see a family member/friend that you haven’t seen in awhile?
    • Did you have a drink of clean water today?
    • Are you parent? Be thankful, not everyone has this opportunity.
  • Read an affirmation, save, and repeat.
    • An affirmation is a positive 1-2 sentence phrase that embodies empowerment and is either renewed daily or repeated over and over – similar to a mantra this way. If you’re having a difficult time developing positive affirmations then think about what caused you to wake up today. What is stroking the flame and energy within you to continue forward? What creates your inner momentum? If you are still struggling then turn towards the internet and search for positive affirmations related to what you want to achieve or attain. Remember, you are what you think. Some helpful resources to begin your journey may be starting with Donna Bird’s List of Affirmations by Categories or Louise Hay’s Daily Affirmations.
  • Maintain a gratitude journal. Journaling helps you to express yourself in a way that you may not be used to. It also is a form of meditation. Jess here, I maintain a journal and currently use the Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal by Tyndale.

  • Keep a blessings jar. This is where you write blessings throughout the day, the week, the month, and the year as they occur. They are really great to do at the beginning of the New Years as you sit and review the blessings from the previous year. Here are few to get you started, or a simple DIY.

 

Interested in reading more about living a life full of gratitude?
Then here are 15 great books on gratitude if you want to learn more!

Spring is Here! Have You Started Prepping Your Garden Yet?

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

According to the Old Farmer Almanac, spring has arrived! Flowers and trees have started budding, the robins have returned to the North, and temperatures are starting to warm up as snow becomes rain. Thunderstorms are a brewing and the sweet floral scent along the warm breeze is upon us.

So what have you done to begin prepping your garden for homegrown food and beautiful flower growth this year?

With the jittering excitement and the buzzing of life means that it’s time for a new – it’s time to begin laying the seeds of the foundation.

Some things that you can begin doing now are the following:

  • Develop nutrient rich compost. To learn more about how to compost, you can check out Pretty Handy Girl’s article about growing garden gold.
    http://enthusiasticanddamned.tumblr.com/post/45868503820/hqcreations-im-always-concerned-about-the

  • Begin planning your bed + layout. If you don’t currently have a garden bed, then decide on the type and size that you would like. Do you want a garden flush with the ground?
    • Tip: Then try laying a tarp the size of your planned garden size over the desired area to begin prepping and mitigating the grass growth before rototilling and laying your seeds. Do you want a raised garden bed?
    • Tip: Then begin thinking about the depth and the size in relation to the plants that you want to cultivate. Do you want a garden purely based in pots that can be brought indoors or transplanted if need be?
    • Tip: Potted plants are great for those that like to dominate a space such as mint, bamboo, or strawberries.
    • Tip: Whatever you choose, your best bet would be to sketch it out on a piece of graph paper using a ruler and scale – this way you have a plan to go off of. 
  • Choose your plants. This one somewhat goes along with planning of your bed as some plants cannot be paired alongside one another, but this also is one of the most enjoyable parts and allows you to decide what type of garden you will grow. Will it be a floral garden? An herb garden? A fruit and vegetable garden? When choosing your plants, if you’re growing direct from seed then you will want to check your zone area and see when the proper time is to begin planting some of your seeds outdoors.
    • Tip: To visually pinpoint your exact hardiness zone, then refer to Plant Maps.
  • If growing from seed, is it too early to start growing the seed indoors? Before you sow though, there are many plants that love to be started indoors using simple starter pods or more diy methods such as sealing the seeds inside a ziplock bag while wrapped in moistened paper towel and periodicially re-moistening while keeping it in a dark and warm space inside of your home.
  • Are you growing from more established plants? If you choose the more established plant route, then you will need to wait just a little longer before those become available and are ready for planting.
  • If you are looking for more advice on what type of plants, think about the end result. 
    • Tip: If you’re looking to develop a medicinal herbal garden, then refer to ODYB’s list of 27 herbal medicines. There are easy to cultivate plants such as Marigold, Echinacea, Tea Tree, Lemon Balm, Feverfew, Milk Thistle, and others included here.
    • Tip: Remember to consider companion planting – some plants do well when paired with others, whereas some plants perform poorly. Consider reviewing When 2 Plant’s Companion Guide for Plants.

Do you have any more tips or advice to share – we would love to hear it!

Stop Being Work Sick and Start Living!

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

We all suffer from what Mark Langford refers to as ‘work sickness’ when we work in a tireless place performing something that does not mesh with our hidden passions in life.

But what if we told you that it’s possible to meld them all into one?

That’s what we have done here, at Jess and Company, USA. We have many interests in life and our lives are about living it to the fullest potential, living out our true purpose, and living up to our full potential.

Why should anyone have to sacrifice their individual person to live out someone else’s dream? We here do not think that’s a must in life. And, while this idea of living out our dreams in our youth is encouraged and fostered, it is not when we “grow up” and become adults – for then it becomes about survival – when in reality life is nothing but a massive adventure, and we should never stop dreaming regardless of our age.

Now, we don’t want to mislead you in thinking that all things are going to be honky dory and happy-go-lucky when you choose to mindfully live out your life – in fact, you’re likely to encounter a great deal of resistance for you are choosing to live a life that so many are too fearful to live. You are following your dreams, your passion, and satisfying your heart as God guides you towards your purpose – and that scares people. Even more so, it will scare those closest to you. But know that you are not alone in this endeavor and if you can overcome the obstacles in your way, the feeling of success, fullness, happiness, and richness will pour over you in greater quantities than ever before.

Remember the tagline, collide to coexist. All that is us – all that is our lives – should collide to coexist – to live in harmony and balance – not to disrupt or cause neglect in one or several avenues.

P.S. We here really like journals and planners!

 

Sale Ends Today & How Sales Can Boost Business + An EXTRA Bonus!

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Sales, Coupons, Discounts…we all have heard of them, and we all have participated in them in one way or another.

Why do we love sales and discounts so much?

The answer is simple, in fact. It’s purely psychological – we all want to receive items at the lowest available price.

What is it about sales that drive consumers?

It’s within our innate psychological make-up to break things down mathematically and desire something more when offered at a perceived lower price because we feel a sense of accomplishment in obtaining something at a discounted price than what it is normally priced at. I would like to note that I state perceived because discounts are often in place for retailers benefits – not a consumer’s (at least in as much of a gain). This being the case they are there to drive the sales of a particular product or service up.

For example, this may mean that a product is offered for sale, but the discount only applies to the smaller version when the consumer purchases two. This discount is a “$0.50 off coupon when you purchase two of the smaller sizes”. Let’s say that the regular price of each is $2.00 so for a grand total of the quantity of the smaller items combined, this costs the consumer $3.50 instead of $4.00. But wait, this product is offered in a larger size, which the coupon does not apply towards. The total quantity of the larger sized item of the same product costs $3.40 and there is 18oz. more of the product in this item. This seems like the better deal, but which one is most likely to experience an uptick in sales? The smaller size because it appears more cost efficient and the consumer is receiving two items versus one. This is what is meant by saying that sales and discounts often benefit the retailer more than they do the consumer.

If you’re interested in learning more about the exploitation of consumers then check out The Economist‘ article titled ‘Something Doesn’t Add Up’. 

What are the best and not so best sales to use?

This is a challenge of a question because it really depends on several variables. Variable number 1) what is your product or service? Variable number 2) Who is your target audience? The answers to these will directly impact the type of sales and discounts that your company performs well with.

However, with that being said, some of the more popular and well-received sales are percentages off (make it worthwhile) and free shipping, if applicable.

Is it possible to overuse sales?

Yes, absolutely! Think about the .99cent store – it’s a perma-sale. Do you want to represent your brand as a perma-sale? If so, then by all means utilize all of the sales strategies possible and rake in that dough, penny by penny, but if, like many, you do not want to be or your customer is not the same customer then do not overuse sales. If there is always a sale to be had then what is the incentive for the consumer to jump in on “this super awesome and never before seen again deal” now if they know that they can purchase the item listed for sale at a similar discounted price in the future at a time more convenient for them. The purpose of sale coupons is to create a sense of urgency, develop a drive for the buy it now, and create a momentum of sales. The opposite happens when sales coupons become overused as consumers begin to expect them (think about the average Joanns customer). This also devalues your product because it cheapens the price that is there in place for a reason. The point is to attract the proper consumer and if your market is not the heavy coupon clipping crowd then my point is, that you should not overuse your coupons year-round just to drive sales. Market your product to drive sales and the customers will come. Coupons and discounts should be applied in special circumstances, because they are – you should make them feel like a gift by not handing them out left and right all of the time, but rather only a few special times during the year – think major holiday shopping times, to repeat customers, and for birthdays. This way it’s special but not overdone.

Want to learn more about sales and discounts? Then check out ‘The Psychology of Discounts’ by Michiel Heijmens on Yoast.

Or, if you’re like me and like books, then check out some of these great pricing strategy and sales book resources here:

And finally, the grand finale! After all of this, I would like to make an announcement: We are extending our sale for 3 weeks!

Why? Because frankly put, our product section is a little lacking and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to take advantage of this exciting time with us by being able to enjoy the new products that will be released in the coming week!

P.S. We will not be offering many sales throughout the year, so trully take advantage of this NOW!

Attend the Event…Fiber Symbolizes Our Lives Through Metaphor

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Jess here, and I recently attended a meetup group full of inspiration, purpose, and worthwhile meaning. It was called “Journeying Within: Fiber, a Metaphor for Our Lives with Rita Petteys”.

Community groups can be frightening things to endeavor in, however, they have the potential to be beautiful, inspirational, and impactful in deeply profound ways while allowing you the ability to meet others of diverse backgrounds. Networking, in all forms, is immensely important to our being as we are social creatures, thus, whether it be for personal or business you should take the leap and attend that networking event that you want.

The theme for the particular event of focus was about how fiber is symbolic for life. Much like fiber, life requires an intricate amount of work to transform and develop into that beautiful finished piece that was desired. This ideology is one that is not new to me, but one that was exciting to experience further hands-on exploration with. Fiber requires intricate work, patience, and skill – is made with intent and purpose – leads to an array of endings interwoven together by the collected cohesion of each fiber and its’ root beginning – and symbolizes something meaningful in the creation and finishing – just as life is. They are coexistent in a way. Purposefully intertwined.

What was intriguing was that as everyone began introducing themselves and stating a little about ourselves we all found a little interconnectedness amongst one another. This aligned with the idea that we were all meant to be there and share in that space and collective thought journey as one. In a way, we were developing a weaving of interconnectivity through everyone’s individual life journey and there was the realization here that we are all meant to be cohesively together and work as one strand of yarn rather than as individual fibers. We are not meant to exist as an island in and ourselves, because naturally, we do not. We are meant to work together as a community and as a spun yarn that has many means to an end but has diverse rooted beginnings. This is why networking is important! Whether it be for personal endeavor or business endeavor, maybe even a little bit of both, networking and attending community events are important, significant, and have deep meaningful purpose.

The speaker, Rita Pettey, owner of Yarn Hallow had a lot of insight on this topic and she shared her beautiful array of fiber collections, ranging from natural wool fresh from the sheep to the luxuriously soft bamboo, to natural hemp to rayon (which in fact, is not a plastic product but developed from wood).

The host of the group, Michelle Devoe is the owner of Shamama – a company about “[finding] your inner voice, [finding] your bliss”.

Photo credit – Interweave.

The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned as a Small Business Owner + The History of How Jess & Company, USA Came to Existence

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

“Lessons are sometimes taught by others, while sometimes they are best learned through trial and error – this is something that I have learned best as a small business owner.”

– Jessica Beauchamp

I have run three Etsy shops, TeaRosie, Framed Furnishings, and JessDesigned before founding Jess & Co. USA while also selling in person through local craft fairs. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and run my own business, in fact, I wanted to be a fashion designer and studied art and fashion design at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) before I decided that it would be wiser to study business and know how to market and sell my product while still learning tips of the trade along the way. This is where I started business studies, first with a general AA, then with a BA in entrepreneurship and marketing, and finally with an MBA specializing in global management. Along the way, I also learned a lot of things through my work with AmeriCorps, as a seamstress, as a freelance virtual assistant (of which, I still am currently), and various other positions outside of my small business role. Ultimately, though, they all boiled down and equated to how the business way run – that was all I could see – or how something was made and designed. To turn this off feels like the end of my existence. This is how I coined the phrase ‘collide to coexist’. My life clearly has a purpose – just as everyone’s lives have purpose – and my interests, passions, business, and personal life all seem intertwined leading to that purpose – as it should be, not only for myself but for everyone.

The first biggest lesson I learned was: To take the plunge and not let fear navigate my decisions.

I feel like many people can relate, whether on a subconscious level or not. My fear existed in the form of failure, so I chose something safe, i.e. Etsy and products that were easy to develop. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I adore Etsy. It is a wonderful platform to start a business and develop a community of like-minded individuals for a low-cost, plus getting traffic to your shop is a lot easier than choosing to do so independently. Consumers are familiar with the name ‘Etsy’ so its’ more trusted and they have so many helpful articles and resources for starting and running your own store to increase sales. See, a great platform! But, I knew it wasn’t for me because of the limitations that I felt when using it. Etsy stores perform better when you focus on a single product niche – this is not something I do. I was trying to sell scarves and posters of a similar consumer market but appear less appealing to the average Etsy consumer because it makes the store look less organized and professional. Ideally, shops that focus on a single product niche seem to do best in regards to selling finished products, not including supply shops. I also know where I want to take my business in the future, which includes expanding into selling other artisan products that are not designed by me as well as leading into manufacturing (Etsy does allow manufacturing now and has a great list of preferred manufacturers, but did not during my first store, TeaRosie). In regards to my product choice – I chose a specific type of jewelry to design and develop for sale in my first shop. This type of jewelry was easy for me to make compared to other products that I could develop but did not push myself to do, although I wanted to – I chose the easy way, rather than the hard and more

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I adore Etsy. It is a wonderful platform to start a business and develop a community of like-minded individuals for a low-cost, plus getting traffic to your shop is a lot easier than choosing to do so independently. Consumers are familiar with the name ‘Etsy’ so its’ more trusted and they have so many helpful articles and resources for starting and running your own store to increase sales. See, a great platform! But, I knew it wasn’t for me because of the limitations that I felt when using it. Etsy stores perform better when you focus on a single product niche – this is not something I do. I was trying to sell scarves and posters of a similar consumer market but appear less appealing to the average Etsy consumer because it makes the store look less organized and professional. Ideally, shops that focus on a single product niche seem to do best in regards to selling finished products, not including supply shops. I also know where I want to take my business in the future, which includes expanding into selling other artisan products that are not designed by me as well as leading into manufacturing (Etsy does allow manufacturing now and has a great list of preferred manufacturers, but did not during my first store, TeaRosie).

In regards to my product choice – I chose a specific type of jewelry to design and develop for sale in my first shop. This type of jewelry was easy for me to make compared to other products that I could develop but did not push myself to do, although I wanted to – I chose the easy way, rather than the hard and more desirable way.

The second biggest lesson I learned was: KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.

As most people, I have the tendency to overthink. This means that I overthink my product photos, my design choices, my color choices, my cut patterns, etcetera, etcetera, and so on, and so on. Sometimes I was just straight up avoiding making the final decision until I panicked and called something out, (mentally, of course), and then later usually regretted that choice – leading me on the downward spiral of overthinking and decision-making process once again. This does not equate to progress and this does not lead to a successful business. In fact, I doubted the name of my first company. I never really developed a logo for the second. These major branding decisions didn’t come to fruition because of me standing in my own way. Whether the timing was not right, I was trying too hard, or the creative element didn’t know how to stop, I am not sure if it’s one or all, but here is what I know now.

  • For a successful product sales photo – plain white backgrounds with no distractions, bright lighting, and few shadows are the best. (Limit creativity).
  • Simple logos resonate the best with consumers.
  • You do not need to perfect absolutely everything that you try – because perfection is non-existent.
  • Advertise where your market is, and do it really well – you don’t need to over advertise and try to market on EVERY SINGLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM AVAILABLE.

The third biggest lesson I learned was: Mindset matters.

If you or I want a successful business, then we must think of it in terms of a business. Yes, we may enjoy the work we do. Yes, some may refer to some of the tasks that you do in your business as ‘hobbies’. Yes, you will want to give up – many, many times. But remember, you are running a business and that business is yours and its’ no one elses! Essentially, you will get back what you put into it. So remember, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. But, if you run it like a hobby then it will respond like a hobby and not produce the positive growth rates that you want to see as you would expect in a growing business and therefore, you’re likely to become more defeated succumb to more and more self-defeating internal talk. On the other hand, though, you are not a workhorse meant to work all of the time. Think back on why you started your business and remember that you wanted the freedom and flexibility – not an 80+ hour work week to make less than you would working 40 hours. You need to know when to turn work off and when to turn work on. This may require some form of routines to get you into the work mode and out of the work mode. Something I like to do is enter my office and open my blinds to let in the sun then I sit down with my to-do list at the beginning of the day while I drink my cup of coffee or tea (depending on my mood). At the end of the day, I will end my work day by writing out the work tasks that need to still be finished to clear my mind and have a to do list for the next day. I then complete about 15 minutes of yoga to destress, stretch my muscles, and clear my mind {I love this Yoga Rinse – Yoga With Adriene video) and then I close my blinds and turn out the light. This means that I am done for the day. This is routine and how I trigger my body and mind into working and not working. You are running a business to live out your dreams and be the person you want to be.

The fourth biggest lesson I learned was: Do not be afraid to pay what you’re worth!

Artisan made items can easily be underpriced. Why? Because it’s easy to do. We don’t feel like we are worth the higher price tag that artisan entails, we don’t deserve it, and so on with the self-defeating and negative talk about how you should undersell your art. This is wrong for several reasons.

  1. This makes competition pricing difficult.
  2. This cuts your profit.
  3. This does not build a business.
  4. And finally, your skills and your time ARE worth it!

If you ever doubt your value – watch this video by David Picciuto!

 

Calmness is Revolutionary

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Find your calm and that in-and-of-itself is revolutionary.

 

Book page and quote straight out of Matt Haig’s amazing book “Reasons to Stay Alive”

 

Problems, whether actual or made up, are real and they have a major impact on us. In fact, these problems are exactly what marketers aim to find solutions for – not only that, but they also present a whole slew of new problems that you probably never knew existed, but may want to resolve with that new product. Marketing, in and of itself is not the problem, but rather, it’s how it dramatically impacts our society which in turn leads to impacting our inner beings and self.

What if I could tell that there was a way to find calm amongst the chaos? Well there is!

It’s through finding your own destined and intended purpose. All of our lives are presented with intention, therefore, we should not take that for advantage and let it pass without at least making an attempt towards seeking out what our true purpose here on earth is. We are only here for a short time, therefore, we should make the most of it by living our intended lives as God meant for us. This means that we should mindfully seek out ways to live out our purpose. Remember, collide to coexist – this means unite and bring about all avenues of your life and make them work as one in harmony and unity and in that you will find your purpose.

“The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive

A Coupon Gift Exclusively for You!

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Receive 10% off your entire order + free shipping for a limited time only!

 

Receive 10% off your order plus free shipping with the coupon code >> sayheytoday << Happy dance!

 

Keep this sweet gem in mind when shopping over the next two (2) weeks as we add more to the store every day!

When you’re ready to checkout, just type in the coupon code >> sayheytoday << to receive 10% off & free shipping. 

Good from 03-04-17 to 03-18-17 so use it now before it’s gone!

So what are you waiting for? Get your shop on! 

Psst…give us a like on our new facebook page!

Who is Jess and Company, USA? – Finding Self Purpose Through a Brand and Business.

Jessica Beauchamp

Jessica Beauchamp

Founder, Author, Lead Designer at Jess & Co.
MBA, BA, AA, & Teaching Certificate.
Jessica Beauchamp

Hello!

Welcome to Day One of Jess and Company, USA!


We here are excited to introduce to make this major leap and finally introduce ourselves. Jess and Co. USA is a lifestyle brand that focuses on selling clothing for the free-spirit. Designed with intentionality and developed with mindfulness, all products, ideologies, and methods are made to express your inner self in an outwards fashion. This means that this brand about developing and finding one’s inner self-purpose through the use of this brand’s wisdom and business behind it. Jess and Co. USA also specializes in inspiring, motivating, and finding one’s inner self to develop a life of intent and purpose – one that God has intended us to live all along. All that we do in life focuses on building our eternal spirit towards one that God intended all along, therefore, this company is an expression of such for one and many as well as strives to deliver that and help lead others to find their purpose in life too. Simply put, you will find thoughtfully designed clothing and home decor, advice for improving one’s inner self as an outward expression, DIY tutorials for some super fun and cool things to do with everyone, and exciting entrepreneurial business and homesteading guidelines, how-to’s, and explorations. We should all work to live a life that we dream – and that doesn’t necessarily mean glitz and glamor – that could be finding peace, serenity, and tranquility within and living a life of mindful intent and purpose. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to where this journey leads us!

With sincerity, peace, and love,
Jessica Beauchamp, Founder, Author, & Designer at Jess and Company, USA.

Psst… If you’re interested in learning more about this type of business mentality then you can check out more about conscious capitalism which is detailed in this great book, Conscious Capitalism  or you can head on over to the website, Conscious Capitalism.